Meet Kessie Hodges, our resident Interior Designer and Buyer. In the lead up to the phase two launch we interviewed her to give you an insight into what to expect in the coming few weeks.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into the industry.
When I was really little, I wanted to be either a fashion designer or interior designer. And now I run my own clothing brand Lady K Loves, as well as doing buying and interior designing for Quarter. So I get to do both things which is great. I got into it because I really love running my clothing brand, but I worked by myself and I was really missing working with other people. So I started looking for something that would be creative and interesting, that would give me room to grow and would mean that I could work with other people because I love working in a team!
What was your inspiration for the design of the space?
So we had several ideas and inspirations from different spaces that we liked. Soho works in Spitalfields was a big inspiration point and the whole of the Soho house group. Their design is amazing and I really like that it's all done in-house as well. The building is a combination of Georgian townhouse and then a kind of late 70s, early 80s extension. So trying to find something that let both spaces breathe was a bit of a challenge.
We did look at some Art Deco style influences and some mid-century style influences which is reflected in some of the colours and the shapes of the furniture we have used. We have also used lots of Bristol based companies and local artists that we've worked with for years, and that's really infused a lot of the character into the building. We’ve also tried to keep things really simple so that it's not an overwhelming space; you're not surrounded by loads of colours or clutter. Finding colours that energise and other colours that relax was quite important. We wanted to create a space that was going to be conducive for working well, being successful and doing the best at whatever it is that you want to do.
How would you describe the Square Works look and feel in three words?
I would say bright, creative and professional.
What can the design of a space do for a person’s well-being or state of mind?
Oh, it is so important. So I've just got back from having a conversation with a woman from Fancy Plants, which is a Bristol based plant shop who we are working with for phase two. Including plants in a space can totally change the atmosphere and completely calm you. We're making sure that we get the right plants in the right spaces because if you go into a space and there's plants that are thriving, then it subconsciously sets the tone that lets you thrive.
We try to make sure that the space does a combination of energising and encouraging. One of the things we really thought about was the way that we use space to encourage people to flow around the building and interact because creating a community is a really big part of Square Works as well. We don't just want it to be a series of offices that people work in and don't talk to each other. We aimed to create spaces that are intended for communal use and that can accomodate the kind of events we want to host.
How do you reflect the community in the interior design?
We’ve got some great community spaces coming up. Phase two is really exciting, we've got the meeting room space that will be opening, which has these fantastic daylight panels in the ceiling, so you won't even realize that it is indoors. In that space we are going to be able to do a range of classes, workshops and networking events. These are fully adjustable so at different times of the day, we'll be able to set the tone which really creates the right atmosphere.
Obviously the staff and the community team in the coworking space are really big part of this but also the way that the rooms are laid out and the things that go on in there can really impact that. We've also got the atrium opening, which is going to be really exciting, it's going to have a ping pong tables. Hopefully this is going to encourage some friendly rivalry between different companies; they might even set up a bit of a league. There are also breakout spaces so people can take themselves away to have a bit of private space to work when they need to, but also work collaboratively together. So we've designed spaces to be used in a variety of ways, with the intention of creating a community.
What do we have to look forward to in phase 2?
There is a new kitchen opening up which looks fantastic. I've just been over there and there’s some final touches to add, but the build is done and it looks great. It's really big, it's got a nice high breakfast bar and it's going to be a great space to sit. We tried to make sure that there are spaces within the building where people can step away from their desks and stop working, because a part of being at work is also making sure you relax enough. There are three new bathrooms opening, two have huge walk in showers so it’s very luxurious. I’ve already mentioned the new meeting room, but this will be amazing for networking, talks, early morning yoga, pilates and workout sessions. There's also going to be some meditation and mindfulness workshops going on there.
The atrium space is another beautiful communal space, which is going to have a fantastic feature, I'm so excited about. I'm not going to tell anyone, I’m going to keep quiet on that one! And then there's also another small kitchen area in there and two break out areas for if you need some a privacy for a meeting, or just to sit somewhere nice and have your lunch. All of the offices are Georgian and just look beautiful.
Lastly, is there anything else that we haven't talked about that you think is worth mentioning?
The team there are fantastic, and will do everything they can to help you. Also we've worked with local companies throughout the process; we want to shout out Konk who have custom made all of our furniture and all of desks. And we've got more artwork coming from Jim Starr, which is going to be amazing, he is just so talented.
There are only a few spots left of our phase 2 expansion. Click here to find out more.